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Pride Stories: Todd Murdock

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LGBTQ+ People As “Superheroes”

Todd Murdock (he/him) first witnessed the healing power of cannabis when his partner was diagnosed with a rare disorder that affects his digestive system. 

“I registered as a medical cannabis caregiver so I could go to the dispensary for him,” said Murdock, General Manager, Ethos Philadelphia. “I started looking at the packaging and paying close attention to what we were buying.”

Murdock, who also manages Ethos Philadelphia’s caregiver program, said his partner experienced a night and day change. Cannabis has long been observed to have an impact on gut inflammation, GI motility, nausea, and vomiting. Murdock said his partner went from experiencing debilitating symptoms to navigating day to day life with much less pain, including eating things he enjoyed once again. 

“Seeing my partner relieve his symptoms through cannabis opened my eyes,” Murdock said, adding that his sister is also a medical cannabis patient in his home state of Michigan. “If cannabis made this much of a difference in my own circle, what else could it do?”

For Murdock, witnessing two people close to him become medical cannabis patients encouraged him to take a deeper look at his own consumption. For the first time, he said, he realized that cannabis played an unintentional medicinal role in his life.

“I didn’t realize that my own cannabis consumption was serving as my antidepressant and an anti-anxiety medicine,” Murdock said. “It was something my friends did to help me unwind, think clearly, and process things, but it took me a long time to realize that was medicine.”

This realization inspired Murdock to pursue a career serving patients from the LGBTQ+ community and from all walks of life. Murdock pivoted his lengthy experience in retail – and his energetic personality – to help patients select products, get their orders, and navigate the caregiver program.

“Cannabis has been there to help me see the other side – to see the light at the end of the tunnel when it’s not so clear – and really allows you to process things, understand who you are, and learn and grow from it,” Murdock said. “I love those kinds of things because that helps me become a better person and others become better people.”

For Murdock, serving a large base of queer patients highlights the significant role cannabis plays in the LGBTQ+ community, both historically and in day-to-day life.

“There are a lot of people from the community who shop here, and they feel the positive, welcoming energy,” Murdock said, adding that Ethos – Philadelphia is in Center City, one of the city’s LGBTQ+ hubs nicknamed the “gayborhood” and is home to nightlife, the William Way LGBT Center, and several medical centers focused on queer and trans health. “At ‘807 Treehouse’ – our nickname for the dispensary — patients see a diverse group of people interacting, having fun, laughing, and enjoying themselves. It signals right away that they are in a safe environment in which they can be themselves.”

Curating that kind of environment makes a difference. Murdock cited the shared stigma both the cannabis and LGBTQ+ communities face, and how the two together can be a powerful, healing force.

“There has been continued oppression both of cannabis and the LGBTQ+ community,” Murdock said. “Knowing that so many people suffered from HIV In the ‘80s and nothing happened… we can now take steps forward and have a common goal of just educating people with empathy about other people’s pain.”

“Everyone in the LGBTQ+ community is a superhero,” he added. “There’s a level of heroism in the struggles the community faces and the triumphs they achieve when they can be who they truly are and shine.”

Cannabis, along with an active lifestyle, are important to Murdock. When not at work, Murdock is a pitcher and volunteer with the Philadelphia chapter of Stonewall Sports, an organized recreational sports league for LGBTQ+ people. Murdock also partakes in a weekly board “Gayme Night” with close friends, and is an avid fan of drag race, as a former drag queen himself.

“Stonewall Sports helps people shine,” Murdock said, adding that Ethos Cannabis is a sponsor of the league for the 2021-22 season. “Stonewall Sports is a family, and for many folks, it creates family they didn’t have before… I’ve learned so much about leadership while being my authentic self through Stonewall Sports, both of which matter both at work and at home.”

Tying together his professional life, relationships, cannabis, and his hobbies, Murdock credits all of these aspects of his life for helping him live a fulfilled and happy life.

“Without cannabis, the LGBTQ+ community, my home life, and Stonewall Sports, I simply would not be the person I am today,” Murdock said. “My future is endless because of all the amazing things I have in my life. I embraced it all with open arms, and I haven’t looked back.”

Read more Pride Stories here

LGBTQ+ People As “Superheroes”

Todd Murdock (he/him) first witnessed the healing power of cannabis when his partner was diagnosed with a rare disorder that affects his digestive system. 

“I registered as a medical cannabis caregiver so I could go to the dispensary for him,” said Murdock, General Manager, Ethos Philadelphia. “I started looking at the packaging and paying close attention to what we were buying.”

Murdock, who also manages Ethos Philadelphia’s caregiver program, said his partner experienced a night and day change. Cannabis has long been observed to have an impact on gut inflammation, GI motility, nausea, and vomiting. Murdock said his partner went from experiencing debilitating symptoms to navigating day to day life with much less pain, including eating things he enjoyed once again. 

“Seeing my partner relieve his symptoms through cannabis opened my eyes,” Murdock said, adding that his sister is also a medical cannabis patient in his home state of Michigan. “If cannabis made this much of a difference in my own circle, what else could it do?”

For Murdock, witnessing two people close to him become medical cannabis patients encouraged him to take a deeper look at his own consumption. For the first time, he said, he realized that cannabis played an unintentional medicinal role in his life.

“I didn’t realize that my own cannabis consumption was serving as my antidepressant and an anti-anxiety medicine,” Murdock said. “It was something my friends did to help me unwind, think clearly, and process things, but it took me a long time to realize that was medicine.”

This realization inspired Murdock to pursue a career serving patients from the LGBTQ+ community and from all walks of life. Murdock pivoted his lengthy experience in retail – and his energetic personality – to help patients select products, get their orders, and navigate the caregiver program.

“Cannabis has been there to help me see the other side – to see the light at the end of the tunnel when it’s not so clear – and really allows you to process things, understand who you are, and learn and grow from it,” Murdock said. “I love those kinds of things because that helps me become a better person and others become better people.”

For Murdock, serving a large base of queer patients highlights the significant role cannabis plays in the LGBTQ+ community, both historically and in day-to-day life.

“There are a lot of people from the community who shop here, and they feel the positive, welcoming energy,” Murdock said, adding that Ethos – Philadelphia is in Center City, one of the city’s LGBTQ+ hubs nicknamed the “gayborhood” and is home to nightlife, the William Way LGBT Center, and several medical centers focused on queer and trans health. “At ‘807 Treehouse’ – our nickname for the dispensary — patients see a diverse group of people interacting, having fun, laughing, and enjoying themselves. It signals right away that they are in a safe environment in which they can be themselves.”

Curating that kind of environment makes a difference. Murdock cited the shared stigma both the cannabis and LGBTQ+ communities face, and how the two together can be a powerful, healing force.

“There has been continued oppression both of cannabis and the LGBTQ+ community,” Murdock said. “Knowing that so many people suffered from HIV In the ‘80s and nothing happened… we can now take steps forward and have a common goal of just educating people with empathy about other people’s pain.”

“Everyone in the LGBTQ+ community is a superhero,” he added. “There’s a level of heroism in the struggles the community faces and the triumphs they achieve when they can be who they truly are and shine.”

Cannabis, along with an active lifestyle, are important to Murdock. When not at work, Murdock is a pitcher and volunteer with the Philadelphia chapter of Stonewall Sports, an organized recreational sports league for LGBTQ+ people. Murdock also partakes in a weekly board “Gayme Night” with close friends, and is an avid fan of drag race, as a former drag queen himself.

“Stonewall Sports helps people shine,” Murdock said, adding that Ethos Cannabis is a sponsor of the league for the 2021-22 season. “Stonewall Sports is a family, and for many folks, it creates family they didn’t have before… I’ve learned so much about leadership while being my authentic self through Stonewall Sports, both of which matter both at work and at home.”

Tying together his professional life, relationships, cannabis, and his hobbies, Murdock credits all of these aspects of his life for helping him live a fulfilled and happy life.

“Without cannabis, the LGBTQ+ community, my home life, and Stonewall Sports, I simply would not be the person I am today,” Murdock said. “My future is endless because of all the amazing things I have in my life. I embraced it all with open arms, and I haven’t looked back.”

Read more Pride Stories here

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